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Volunteer Spotlight: a year of incredible work!

Celebrating over a year of volunteering at City of Sanctuary Sheffield (CoSS), we talked to Levi to discuss what he does at CoSS and to recognise his incredible work.

Levi started volunteering for CoSS in January 2022, working on our reception desk. This role involves greeting people as they arrive and sign in, and checking how they are and what they may need. He now speaks many languages, as he makes sure to greet people in their language, whether they are from Ukraine, Korea or France.

“Levi made me feel so welcome as soon as I met him and was always eager to help regardless of the task. I know his presence goes a long way in making the sanctuary the welcoming and safe space it is.” Annie- CoSS Communications and Fundraising Officer

After a few months of volunteering, Levi was asked to volunteer with our SPRING project (The Sheffield Project for Refugee INtegration and Growth), supporting newly recognised refugees with both urgent needs and long-term integration. He now also volunteers at our multi-agency drop-ins (the advice and information hub for people seeking sanctuary in Sheffield), working on the screening desk, at the foodbank and even queue management!

“Levi has been volunteering at the Sanctuary and the Drop-in since January 2022. In that time, he has become an invaluable member of the team and has made a huge difference to the people we work with. He has played a crucial role at the Drop-in by developing an effective system for welcoming and signposting people who come through the door – no mean feat given that around 100 people come to Drop-in for help each week! It is not an exaggeration to say that we would not imagine City of Sanctuary Sheffield without Levi.” Anna- CoSS Welcoming Spaces Manager

The Sanctuary is open Monday to Thursday, and Levi volunteers on every one of these days (and sometimes also on a Friday supporting with admin). His willingness to volunteer wherever CoSS needs help, and eagerness to learn new skills, is a big part of what keeps such a busy and ever-changing space running. Levi also volunteers at Voluntary Action Sheffield (advising refugees and people seeking asylum on the importance of volunteering and finding them placements), Assist (supporting them with their finances and providing software engineering support) and at Learn for Life (as an IT assistant).

When asked about the impact of his volunteering, he spoke about the laughter and joy he shares with other people and the amount he learns from people of all cultures and backgrounds. He also discussed the positive impact that being around a supportive and caring community has on his life.

Always keen to learn Levi has completed many software development/ engineering courses. After recently completing a google course on machine learning and artificial intelligence, he is now studying software engineering and data analysis with Code your Future. Having already received job opportunities we know he is going to have a very successful career and are excited to see him follow his passion to be a data analyst for the Premier League!

“Levi is one of our most invaluable, knowledgeable and dependable volunteers. He is a lead reception volunteer, supports service users with IT and digital access, is a member of the Experts by Experience Team and the co-presents the Volunteer Induction. Levi is committed, empathetic, kind and compassionate. He is an asset to City of Sanctuary Sheffield, and many other organisations, and valued part of the Sheffield community.” Alexi – CoSS & SPRING Volunteer Coordinator

From the whole CoSS we want to thank Levi, and all our brilliant volunteers, for your dedication, enthusiasm and support.